NEW YORK – Early in spring training, manager Aaron Boone had already included Nestor Cortes among the starting five.
However, Curtis wasn’t counting on a camp break in the Yankees’ rotation.
“I still feel like I have things to prove,” Curtis said midway through Yankees camp in Tampa, Florida. “I never want to lose that advantage. I never want to be comfortable.”
“I just feel like there is room for improvement and improvement.”
Of course, Curtis felt that way.
Training last spring, Curtis was an unlisted invitee in his third round with the Yankees since he was selected in the 36th round of the 2013 draft.
On Tuesday night, Curtis will start his first game of the season – as the fifth man in the MLS – against the powerful Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium.
Entering the 2021 season, Curtis started two games in 42 games in his MLB career and was a 6.72 ERA in three seasons with the Orioles, Yankees and Mariners.
He was called up to the Yankees last year in late May, where Curtis made a 1.02 ERA in seven multi-inning relief games before joining the rotation on July 4.
From there, Curtis made 14 appearances, and Yank won 10 of the 15 games he appeared in.
In those last 15 games, the left-footed player – who has a baffling and not-so-strong arsenal – has scored 3.35 ERAs and a limited opponent with a batting average of 0.26 and 0.694 OPS.
“Once we started getting into that level where every match was important, and I was making an important start… it gave me more confidence to go out every five days,” said Curtis, 27.
Along the way, the 5-foot-11, 210-pound pitcher became a fan favorite for moxie and his scores, something he wasn’t expecting as an un-listed invitee to camp.
“It was definitely something I wouldn’t have imagined at Yankee Stadium, people are encouraging me,” Curtis said. “So unique, so special to be a part of.”
On the fly
When asked if he made any adjustments in 2022, Curtis said he had not played for Winter Bowl for the first time in five years.
As a result, Curtis said, “Office felt like an eternity.” “Hopefully that translates to being stronger in July and August.”
Curtis said he may have felt a little tired last season, but his mentality was sharp.
That led to some creative moments on the hill as Curtis channeled his inner David Kohn, inventing arm angles on the fly—another tool to keep the hitters balanced.
We’ll see,” Curtis said with a smile, when asked if he’d come up with some new delivery tricks in 2022. “Things just come as I go along. Hopefully something will work out.”
About Aaron Qazi’s Negotiations
One of the more intriguing developments of the failure to reach an extension with Aaron Judge prior to opening day was the Yankees’ revealing of their contract offer.
GM Brian Cashman made the rare public disclosure of the terms; The Yanks offered the judge $30.5 million annually over seven years, starting with the 2023 season.
Aaron Judge Boyd:Slugger hears it from Yankees fans on the field
The judge, who will turn 30 later this month, didn’t seem too pleased to bring the private negotiations public, though he only said it was a business and he couldn’t control anything.
Speaking Monday about Cartoons and Roberts’ show at WFAN, Cashman said he told Judge’s representatives, about 72 hours before the time, that “if we can’t come to an agreement, we’ll at least share, you know, our side of the fence.
“And they are certainly free to do the same on their part.”
This was done in the spirit of transparency in high-level negotiations, Cashman said, although there is something he feels queasy about the whole thing.
As in, perhaps the ownership would like to make clear to an important fan base the club’s willingness to spend, during the period when the Yankees ran through the elite free-agent market, not adding a significant player initially.
However, Yanks’ payroll is estimated at $250 million this year, a record for the franchise.
For this reason, it was necessary for Judge’s planned pursuit of a long-term extension to impact its budget toward the rest of the market.
Cashman told WFAN that he remained involved with free agents Freddy Freeman and Carlos Correa, and in the end, the short-term deal that Correa signed with Minnesota “wasn’t available” to the Yankees before they decided to make a commercial impact with the twins. .
In that deal, the Yanks received short-lived Isiah Kiner-Falefa, third baseman Josh Donaldson and hunter Ben Roortvedt for Gary Sanchez and Gio Urshela (while receiving the remaining $50 million from Donaldson’s contract).
Cashman said he “never made a formal offer” to Correa or Freeman, but was aware of the price criteria for each player.
As for the judge’s extension before he reaches free agency in November, Cashman said the debate is still open to the end.
Finally, Cashman told WFAN, “At the end of the day, Judge is ‘putting his hand on the wheel of his life as he should…do what he feels comfortable doing’.”
Pete Caldera is the Yankees beat writer for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to all Yankees analysis, news, trades and more, please sign up today and download our app.
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